The Beauty of Balance

The Beauty of Balance

Figure 1.


Figure 1.

Wen Shuo Wen (8 years old)


Modeling a mischievous leopard that is rushing out from the background of the right. Unfortunately the subject only takes up space on the right side, so Wen Shuo added a line for the ground, dead trees, snowflakes, and night on the left side of the paper. This not only balances the face of the painting, but also creates a situation of beauty, from originally having "defects", into being a rich piece.

There are two kinds of balance; physical and visual. Which weighs more, a kilogram of cotton or a kilogram of iron? Both are a kilogram; the same. But cotton is light unless measured in a large volume; it is not as dense as iron. Visually, you would need a larger volume of cotton in order to compare it to iron of an equal weight. This question is designed to confuse by comparing iron to cotton in the visual size of the illusion, where a kilogram of cotton occupies more space than iron, but in comparing physical weight, they are equal, and balanced.

Aesthetic balance refers to resting on the same basic fulcrum.  It refers to more than two objects’ weight relationship to one another, but is all in the mechanics of maintaining a balanced state. Equilibrium involves the shape, color, texture and other visual sense of weight, in addition to the size of the picture and the shape of the position. But it also must take into account the color of the light and shading, the thickness of the texture, and weight. We must also consider whether we are familiar with the simple symmetry of the balance, or the shape of the more complex asymmetrical. The aim is to create a sense of stability in the plane and train a child to observe the visual changes through an actual experience.

Figure 2.


Figure 2.

Wan Lin Cai (4 and a half)

A cute leopard painted by the child; the style is vivid and silly. The overall picture has the center of gravity shifted to the left, coupled with a tail moving to the right, and has a clever balance through the entire picture.

Such an abstract concept, in fact, is not that simple to explain to a child clearly using words. But it can be much easier to explain with the clever use of practical objects as teaching aids, or through the actual view of a painting to observe and appreciate. Some possibilities include using buttons, building blocks, or pencils. They can be placed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, have their order changed, or used in continuous connections or varying spaces. No explanation will be necessary when teaching this to children, because a description of thousands of words will be nothing compared to the actual understanding when children try to change the orientation of object placed in front of them.


Figure 3.

Shuang Chen (7 years old)


In this bold upright composition, the leopard lands on the left side of the paper, but because of a curved tail, the painting’s center of gravity is stable.

Visual perception is gradually cumulative, so in order to develop visual sensitivity, you must go through the course of repeated guidance exercises. Trying a variety of changes on a painting, from the color tone, to the order, and the use of disassembly or combination, as long as there are changes in condition, can produce a new visual impression. If there is a new appearance, and abstract aesthetic philosophy in a simple demonstration of the painting, children can comprehend it.
Children obtain positive evidence from observing the reality of their own surroundings through exercises. They can also discover and practice using aesthetic balance and accumulate practice into the style and structure of art fundamentals, the result of which can be practically applied in daily life. From hairstyles to clothing; from home furnishing, like flower arrangement, or hanging art on the wall, to applying the design of space, everything in life is full of the theme of universal balance.